Poole Museum
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Opening times:
From 9 April - 30 October 2022,
Daily, 10am - 5pm

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About Caro

Photo credit: Daily Echo, Bournemouth

Sir Anthony Caro OM CBE RA   

(8 March 1924 – 23 October 2013)
 was an English abstract sculptor who is internationally recognised as “one of the greatest sculptors in the second half of the 20th century”.
He is known for revolutionising British sculpture in terms of subject, appearance, materials, methods and ideas, breaking away from the traditions of European sculpture by showing that sculpture could be abstract and need not be dependent on the human figure.

Sir Anthony Caro & his wife, painter Sheila Girling had a home and studio in Dorset and felt strong connections  with the area. The work he gave to Poole reflected the proud maritime history of the town and created a new focal point on the Quay.

He studied at the Royal Academy in London and went on to be an influential teacher at St Martin’s School of Art for over 25 years.  Caro was an ambitious sculptor, he worked for 2 years as Henry Moore’s assistant: “he was very good to me. He was my teacher, a very wise and wonderful man, he taught me about drawing and we talked a lot about art.”


Anthony Caro (left) with artist Henry Moore. Photo credit: Barford Sculptures

His work is characterised by the use of old industrial metal that was painted and shaped to create new forms. He came to public attention after his first major show at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1963, where his abstract metal sculptures, welded or bolted together, were presented standing directly on the ground so that they engaged the viewer on a one-to-one basis. His focus on form was unique for his time and inspired many future developments in contemporary sculpture.

In his later work such as ‘Sea Music’, Caro showed that he was a constant innovator. He explored the role of sculpture in relation to architecture, saying that they shared the same concerns – space, form, materials and scale – and needed to work together. Larger scale sculptures allowed the viewer to approach and interact with them from all sides. Caro compared the process of sculpture to writing music: “I sometimes think of sculpture like a concerto: there's the piano up above and the orchestra down below"

Original plans for the siting of Sea Music


Caro was knighted in 1987, in 2000 he became the first artist since Henry Moore to be awarded the Order of Merit. Major exhibitions include retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and Tate Britain. In a long, prestigious career he exhibited in many major museums across the world including Poole Museum.


Early One Morning 1962 Tate Gallery Image courtesy Courtesy of Barford Sculptures Ltd


More information about Caro can be found here: http://www.anthonycaro.org/

We worked in partnership with the following organisations:

HLF NEW english_landscape_cmyk (1).jpg



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